The New York Giants continue to wheel and deal their way through the summer. Less than 24 hours after acquiring cornerback Keion Crossen in a trade with the Houston Texans, a fellow Giants defensive back has been shipped out of town.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan has reported that Isaac Yiadom has been traded to the Green Bay Packers. As compensation, New York receives an intriguing prospect, acquiring former second-round cornerback Josh Jackson via Raanan’s colleague, Rob Demovsky.
Yiadom, 25, was a third-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2018. The Giants acquired him in a trade with Denver in early September of last year in exchange for a 2021 seventh-round draft pick. The Boston College product went on to appear in all 16 games (10 starts) during his lone season in East Rutherford, including starting eight of the team’s final nine games to close out the year.
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Jackson Gets a Fresh Start
A former Unanimous All-American selection out of Iowa and Jack Tatum Trophy recipient (top collegiate defensive back), Jackson has struggled in his transition to the pros. After starting 10 games as a rookie in 2018, he quickly fell out of favor in Green Bay, starting just five of his past 26 game appearances over the past two seasons. During that span, he’s averaged an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 56.2.
Thus far his 2021 campaign hasn’t gone much better. Per PFF, Jackson was targeted 10 times in In the Packers’ preseason opener to the Houston Texans, surrendering 91 yards on seven completions (h/t 247Sports).
Here’s to hoping a change of scenery does the 25-year-old some good. Even then, nailing down a roster spot could prove an uphill battle for Jackson in an extremely deep secondary that’s already added the likes of Adoree’ Jackson, Rodarius Williams and Aaron Robinson this offseason.
Yiadom Struggled to Cement Himself in NY’s Budding Secondary
The Giants’ initial answer to the failed Corey Ballentine experiment opposite Pro Bowler James Bradberry, Yiadom logged a total of 633 defensive snaps (58%) in 2020 — fifth-most among all Big Blue defensive backs. After early-season struggles, Yiadom seeded the starting No. 2 cornerback job to Ryan Lewis, drawing just 15 defensive snaps from Week 4 through Week 7. However, a hamstring injury would abruptly end Lewis’ season by late October, leading to Yiadom once again staking claim to the gig.
Overall, the Virginia native left much to be desired. The clear weak spot on the backend of an otherwise impressive defensive unit for Big Blue, Yiadom allowed a 61.7% completion percentage when targeted and netted a 56.8 overall PFF grade. He was even worse in man coverage, where the 6-foot-1-inch, 190-pound defender graded out as the 104th ranked cornerback among 137 qualifiers at the position with a 38.8 man coverage grade.
As Packers analyst Daire Carragher highlighted, the numbers don’t get much better from there for the newest member of Green Bay’s secondary.
If anything, Yiadom’s saving grace was his willingness to get his nose dirty in the run game, collecting 46 tackles (29 solo) — although we’d be remiss not to acknowledge that a decent chunk of that production did come from receivers catching passes in front of him. He also finished the year with one quarterback hit, one forced fumble and five passes defended.
In reality, while Yiadom failed to prove himself as the answer opposite Bradberry, the Giants got their money’s worth on a one-year flyer, squeezing 10 starts out of what essentially equated to a seventh-round selection.
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